8 Books Out This July In The UK That Are Absolutely Essential Reading

Don't just rock up book-less to the airport and pick up the nearest paperback you can find. Your summer holiday is really the most opportune time of year to hunker down on some real good reading, so you'll need to find those stories that'll keep you locked to the poolside deck chair, because you don't want to spoil this summer with lousy reading material. Luckily, July has plenty of great books in store, which you'll want to add to your holiday cart right away. So, here's six books out in July in the UK that I reckon you should get your sunscreen soaked mitts on. Careful of the cover.

Among this list you have some old yet new faithfuls — including the likes of Man Booker Prize winning author Howard Jacobson, and your usual summer reading go-to man David Nicholls. There's also some debuts, including one from a journalist which is bound to be spoken about for the next however many years, as well as a republished and newly translated classic. So, whatever it is that takes your fancy from these picks, you're going to be well stocked for an incredible holiday with some incredible reading material. This truly is the season for reading.


'Three Women' by Lisa Taddeo

Journalist Lisa Taddeo's debut novel three women portrays, well, three real women whose sexual pursuits and desires are documented over the span of a decade. With intense reporting, Taddeo provides a deeply honest and staunchly original account of how desire and sexuality is imbued in all of womankind, and the way it's complicated by gender inequality and unconventional lusts.

Buy it on Amazon from July 9


'Last Witnesses: Unchildlike Stories' by Svetlana Alexievich


As a winner of the Nobel Prize, the oral historian Svetlana Alexievich seems like the best person to help tells these stories. Last Witnesses, a collection of over a hundred stories told to Alexievich by Soviet survivors of the Nazis, was first published some thirty years ago, but it's being republished now with a new translation, and it'll no doubt leave another huge impression on this new generation of readers.

Buy it on Amazon from July 2


'I Am Sovereign' by Nicola Barker


Nicola Barker's latest sees an estate agent trying to teach his coworker, who's prone to stealing bits and bobs from the houses they show, to behave. But when they get to a certain house, a series of haphazard events throws everything into disarray, which even leads the reader herself to question where fiction ends and reality begins. Prepare for your brain to be fried.

Available on Amazon from July 25


'Live a Little' by Howard Jacobson


With a Man Booker Prize under his belt, you can be sure of another belter from Howard Jacobson, and that's exactly what he's serving up with Live A Little, his novel that examines what it's like to fall in love later on in life. Sure to make you laugh and cry in one single setting, it's a heartbreaking and heart-enriching reach, as you too fall in love with the characters, who are at risk of dying at basically any moment.

Available on Amazon from July 4


'The Wedding Party' by Jasmine Guillory

Reese Witherspoon made Guillory's novel The Proposal a Hello Sunshine Book Club pick, and Roxane Day described it as having a "sharp feminist edge." The Wedding Party is the ultimate rom-com beach read. Boy and girl share mutual friend, hook up, then hate each other. Thrown together again at said mutual friend's wedding, the sparks fly. Sign me up. The paperback is out September 1 in the UK, but if you've got a Kindle, get downloading.

Available on Amazon from July 16


'Sweet Sorrow' by David Nicholls

As the master of summer holiday reads (he's the man who brought you One Day, after all), Nicholls has never been more deliberate in trying to stick you to your lawn chair, face down in a book, than with Sweet Sorrow. Like many of his novels, it's a bittersweet coming-of-age tale, which sees one lovelorn man joining a Shakespeare Company in order to win the heart of his beloved.

Available on Amazon from July 11


'On Chapel Sands' by Laura Cumming

On Chapel Sands has been a BBC Radio 4 book of the week and has been described by the Guardian as a "highly skilful uncovering of family secrets." Written by the Observer art critic Laura Cumming, the book tells the story of the author's mother's abduction as a three-year-old. Spoiler alert: the mother ends up safe and well, but the unravelling the circumstances of her disappearance proves that fact is often stranger than fiction.

Available on Amazon from July 4


'Patsy' by Nicole Dennis-Benn

This novel tells the story of one woman's immigration to America from Jamaica in pursuit of a childhood friend and lost love. The Atlantic called it "a portrait of black queer women grasping for self-determination, and a challenge to the conventions of what is expected of good mothers and good women and good immigrants." The raft of stellar reviews prove that this is sure to become a literary classic.

Available on Amazon from July 4